A lack of standard systems and procedures has historically been a major cause of inefficiency experienced by the accounting profession. Unfortunately this often equates to reduced profit margins as staff are taking longer to complete jobs, new staff take longer to train and induct, and files and emails can easily go missing without standard protocols in place.
Recognising your key repetitive processes and standardising them is the first step to achieving greater day-to-day efficiency. By clearly defining the process undertaken for your key jobs, you can ensure that staff are using the correct templates and checklists, are filing in the correct place, and are getting the job done on time, every time. This type of streamlining translates to greater profitability, as the job is based and sold on its value rather than who, or which level of staff, actually did the work.
In today’s working environment, it is more important than ever to provide your employees with the systems and accessible knowledge that they need to complete their work. Any time your employees are spending searching for information and/or seeking the advice of other staff is time they could have been spending completing the job at hand. Providing a knowledgebase of information they can easily search is crucial to the standardisation of your templates, checklists, workpapers and other tools.
In a survey to participants of a recent Business Fitness Paperless Office webinar, it was found that 84.1% of the firms polled believe their employees are wasting, on average, over 20 minutes per day looking for files or information to help them complete their work. Let’s look at an example in monetary terms using some average figures:
Average hourly rate = $144 | Average firm size = 10 people | Calculation: $144/3 = $48 (Divide hourly rate by time wasted (1/3rd of an hour)), $48*10 = $480 (Multiply time wasted by all 10 staff).
Salaries wasted looking for electronic files:
$480 per day
= $2,400 per week
= $110,400 per year
The small amounts of time wasted by each employee every day add up substantially in your bottom line returns. Imagine how much of this waste you could recover by implementing standard processes across your firm. Making your employee’s job that little bit easier and faster is the key to higher productivity, which equals happier clients, less WIP and better job turnaround time.